Making the Connection Top Jobs offers students a rare opportunity to kick-start their careers By Dusti Gasparovic
Slacks and sleek blazers, high-heels and some perfume. We mix and we mingle, chatter fills up the room. Résumés, portfolios and some, ‘Nice-to-meet-yous.’ These are a few of the things that we do. Gaylord College professors set their students up for success when representatives from leading advertising and public relations firms visited the University of Oklahoma for Top Jobs Feb. 21 through 23. The event enabled industry professionals to peruse résumés and recruit Gaylord College’s finest and brightest for internships. Public relations professor Robert Pritchard and advertising professor David Tarpenning, who worked to bring big names to Gaylord College’s doorstep, are dedicated to the program, the industry and their students. “I wish I would have had an opportunity like this,” said Rachel Noonan, awards manager and creative coordinator at Crispin Porter Bogusky and 2010 Gaylord College alumna. “It’s great to meet so many students and hopefully find that diamond in the rough,” said Amanda Speer from CPB. This was Speer’s first time attending Top Jobs at Gaylord College, and she said the campus was gorgeous and filled with hard-working and genuinely nice people. Style is just one of the many things Gaylord College students do well; everyone looked polished and professional. Who said business attire was boring? Bright jewelry, ruffled blouses, Steve Madden’s latest stiletto, crisp blazers, gelled hair, snazzy ties and socks to match bring personality into the world of creative and strategic business. In a casual conversation over a bag of chips, Mark Zangrilli of NYC Publicis admitted to snagging his tie right off the mannequin. It was his second time attending Top Jobs. “It is always exciting to see students excited about the industry,” he said. Representatives were flown in Thursday and student leaders within Lindsey + Asp agency were their chauffeurs for the evening. Friday morning, a feast of breakfast foods welcomed company representatives and Gaylord College students. Muffins, bagels, fresh fruit, biscuits and gravy were displayed on two long tables. Upon arrival, students were able to sign up for one-to-one time slots with various companies, as well as three informational sessions on Saturday. 34
Following breakfast, everyone gathered in the auditorium for a brief welcome and introduction. Company representatives showed off their most popular advertisements and shared a little about what they do and what they look for in interns. “There is a certain personality attracted to PR and advertising,” Zangrilli said. “We all kind of like the crazy.” Zangrilli’s favorite part about his job is “playing detective” and working with people. It takes a sleuth to understand the mind of a client, especially when the client is unsure of what he or she wants. “If you can find and solve what keeps your client up at night, that’s gold,” said Gaylord College alumnus Matt Sikes, from Smith AD agency in Seattle. Gaining audience insights is Sikes’ favorite part about his job. “We only hire the best people,” said Jennifer Novak, recruiter for the creative department of DDB. “We are super-passionate about our interns.” Novak expressed the significance of internships in general as well as within her company.
Major advertising and public relations agencies showcased their company portfolios and discussed the culture at their agencies.